2018, Affordable Care Act, American Health Care Act — March 17, 2017 at 5:10 pm

The House is on the verge of voting to uninsure 24 million Americans — here’s what you can do about it


Tax breaks for the rich paid for with ‘unspeakable misery for millions of American families’

Despite a report from the Congressional Budget Office that projects that the American Health Care Act will leave 24 million Americans uninsured while driving up costs for almost everyone who purchases insurance on their own, House Republicans have scheduled a vote on the bill for next Thursday.

The GOP proposal has already successfully cleared three of the four committee hurdles it needs to overcome before hitting the floor, which means it’s already progressed further than the Clinton reforms of the 1990s ever did.

GOPCare or RyanCare or RichCare or TrumpCare could be on the president’s desk in about a month, meaning a bill that will uninsure 24 million will have become law in about a third of the time it took Congress to pass the legislation that insured 24 million — the Affordable Care Act.

Yes, this could really happen. Only unrelenting, focused resistance can stop it.

I asked two health care experts about what they’re hearing and what you can do to make sure this horrendous, deadly bill never becomes law.

First up is Topher Spiro, Vice President for Health Care Policy at American Progress — the man who I first heard make the case that repeal was not inevitable, especially if Republicans didn’t do it when they had the chance in January.

Spiro told me:

The House vote is winnable, but it will be very close. Whip counts by news organizations suggest that we only need about 5 more votes to defeat Trumpcare right now in the House. Trump and Paul Ryan are making concessions to hard-line conservatives, moving the bill to the right to secure their votes. This means that we must lock in as many “moderate” Republicans as no votes as we can. Our top targets are Representatives MacArthur (NJ), Dent (PA), Fitzpatrick (PA), Donovan (NY), Katko (NY), King (NY), Tenney (NY), Zeldin (NY), Valadao (CA), Curbelo (FL), Amodei (NV), McClintock (CA), Denham (CA), Knight (CA), Royce (CA), Walters (CA), and Rohrabacher (CA).

Things are moving fast and this is a very fluid situation. Senators Heller and Collins just came out against the bill; House Republicans are wary of walking the plank if they think it will just die in the Senate. Just within the last 24 hours, McClintock, Curbelo, and Dent said things suggesting they’re leaning no. People on the ground in New York think those votes in particular are very gettable.

We need to lock them and others in this weekend, when they’ll be back in their districts. Show up for rallies outside their offices: check your local Indivisible team for information. Flood their phone lines. The Center for American Progress Action Fund has posted a “toolkit” where you can download data points, graphics, and sample tweets to tweet at your representative. As the vote nears, on Wednesday and Thursday there will be massive rallies in DC.

Check ResistanceNearMe.org for information.

You may have heard Andy Slavitt — who helped save Healthcare.gov and went on to run the Affordable Care Act implementation as President Obama’s pick to run the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services — tell us that we cannot let up on fighting against for repeal, not even for a day.

On Friday, he told me that the already impressive resistance to the bill has to become even more intense in order to avoid “unspeakable misery for millions of American families:”

On the seventh anniversary of the passage of the ACA, Speaker Paul Ryan would like to repeal it in what he calls “an act of mercy.” This act creates unspeakable misery for millions of American families– stripping away their access to coverage, rationing care for Medicaid and massively increasing the cost of care, in particular for older, lower income, and rural Americans, kids, retirees, and those facing the ravages of addiction. The results are clear enough that the most likely way for a bill like this to pass is to rush it through without public input and minimizing the time to focus on the impact. Each day it goes on, more Republicans jump ship. Each time a Republican Senator or Congressperson is forced to contemplate the impact of the AHCA– the simple facts: how many Medicaid participants and exchange participants will lose coverage– the more the prospects for the AHCA dim. The pressure needs to escalate, particularly in districts with a lot to lose. It’s time to worry abut our neighbors, many of whom are too scared and preoccupied caring for sick family members whose lifeblood is access to their medication and care to do this on our own. These next few weeks– in the House, and then in the Senate– are the most critical we will have. Our last best chance. The outcome is still not determined. It’s up to us now.

Few fights in American history have so clearly pitted the interests of average Americans against those of the richest, who who are soaking up the bulk of the gains of our economy.

This law doesn’t just repeal the ACA. It ends Medicaid as we know it and robs tens of billions of dollars and years of solvency from Medicare. If Republicans get away with this, you know that they’ll come after what’s left of Medicare and Social Security next.

Find out how it hits the families in your congressional district here and do whatever you can to help stop this assault of American’s most basic values. And if you have any other ideas or resources, post them in the comments.

[Photo by the great Anne Savage.]


  • bardgal

    Trumpcare will make Obamacare look like the BEST HEALTH LAW EVER.

    They must know they’re setting up a disaster, but they don’t seem to care.

    “…. while driving up costs for almost everyone who purchases insurance on their own,”

    Not just them. EVERYONE who has health insurance. Especially GROUP.

    You don’t take 18million customers (the amount who will immediately lose their healthcare due to lack of subsidies, 26 million in the long run), away from a business, and expect that business to do Business As Usual, and not make some adjustments. Those adjustments will be premium rates skyrocketing to make up for that astronomical client loss, just to remain SOLVENT.

    That includes group, which large or small company, both will be equally affected, since premiums will become too prohibitively expensive to offer as a benefit.

    The CBO stated that a 60 year old making $26k would have their premiums shoot up to $14k – that’s OVER 50% of their income. The guidelines for mortgage loans is that you only spend 28% of your income on your payments FOR A HOUSE, and most banks won’t lend to anyone who can’t afford more.

    Yet the GOP thinks spending HALF YOUR INCOME ON HEALTH CARE PREMIUMS is FINE – especially for seniors who need to be saving for retirement. But that’s not including copays, deductibles, and non-covered items like HAVING A BABY, because once a woman is pregnant, apparently she is non human for her gestation period, thus has no need of health insurance, even though many women DIE during pregnancy and childbirth. She also arrived at that status ALONE, thus men should not pay – apparently.

    Trumpcare will cause chaos in the healthcare Industry, across all branches. Mental Health will see a devastating loss since it won’t be covered. The abortion rate will skyrocket, since most people won’t be able to afford being pregnant, let alone raise a child, after declaring bankruptcy from the delivery.

    Millions will die. Millions will be sick. Millions will be forced to attempt to get better on their own – without medicine. Think about that for a moment…. When next year’s flu bug comes around… and people can’t afford to get a flu shot (now free because it’s preventative), and go to work sick because they can’t afford to stay home – and be sick – because they can’t get any medicine… then that turns into bronchitis, and you can’t get antibiotics… and everyone at work becomes sick….

    How can’t everyone with a functioning brainstem see that lack of Healthcare is a National Security issue? All anyone needs to do is release a pandemic agent, and between all the other cuts they’re making…. and we’re sitting ducks for any hostile country to end us.

    Full disclosure: I am a licensed Insurance Agent, which means I’m a Fiduciary, which means my legal obligation is to my clients, not the insurance companies (who are mostly evil, because Reagan made it legal to make a profit off human illness, which is a giant conflict of interest. Every other country figured that out decades ago, which is why it’s ILLEGAL to make a profit in Healthcare, everywhere else on the planet.)

    I have a client with cancer, that couldn’t get coverage until Jan 1st 2014. His chemo began the next day. Obamacare saved his life.

    Between this horror show of cruelty that they call Health Care, combined with ending meals on wheels, and seniors are going to die in the streets. Of course, Congress will be fine, because they have free healthcare for life.

    I’ve always known the GOP are all about money. I never realized just how cruel and inhuman they are until now.

    Remember when Obama promised you could keep your plan and doctor? That was mostly true as long as the doctor took insurance and didn’t die or retire, and the private insurance company didn’t cancel your plan – which they do all the time, and have done for decades.

    Well, Trump made even bigger promises. “Everyone” will have coverage. You can have the plan you “want.” It will be CHEAPER AND BETTER. Well, with this new Deathcare bill, NONE of that is true, not even close.

    The GOP want a Healthcare Law written by an INSIDE TRADER CRIMINAL (and would be in jail if he were a Democrat), who is now the head of HHS. And the Speaker of the House has no idea how healthcare works. “Obamacare makes healthy people pay for sick people!” As if that’s not how ALL insurance works.

    • fashionplate

      FWIW, be proactive!! The vote currently set for the US House this coming Thursday. I’d already have contacted my US Senators just prior to Thursday. Yes, Senators, as is it possible after the House vote, it gets rapidly sent to the Senate for a vote?? (I hope it won’t come to that, i.e., does not pass in the House, but it does not hurt to be prepared).

  • bardgal

    Trumpcare = Genocide for profit

    You Tim, are brilliant. I’m tweeting the hell out that!!!

  • judyms9

    Michigan Senators will do the right thing. I am lucky to have Debbie Dingell as my rep, and she will do the right thing. In 2018 it will help if all Dems do the right thing and bygod show up and vote.

  • ruralUSAasks

    Please watch and share. Here’s our brave sharing how they will die with aca repeal. https://youtu.be/64yE-q-inyM

  • BurinMRB

    If the Repubs really care about their fellow Americans, they will fix up the ACA, and keep it.
    [Or, we can extend Medicare to everyone. Since it is already set up, that would be a no-brainer, and give the Repubs time to work on other things like BAD roads.]